Pamela Fitzgerald

Life
1773-1831 [née Stephanie Caroline Ann Syms]; described in marriage certificate as b. Newfoundland and rumoured to be dg. of American officer on Fogo Island; appar. adopted by Madame de Genlis; became companion to the children of the Duc d'Orleans, and rumoured to be his illegitimate dg. by the former; came to England in 1791 and met Sheridan; met Lord Edward at Paris Opera; m. 1792, at Tournay; returned to Dublin, living at Frascati House, Blackrock; danced and entertained; visited Lord Edward in prison; compelled to leave the country after the confiscation of his lands; revisited the ladies of Llangollan on her way through Wales (having prev. visited with Mme de Genlis); travelled in Europe and briefly m. J. Pitcairn, the American consul in Hamburg, retaining the Fitzgerald name; passionately devoted to memory of Lord Edward; three children, Edward Fox (1794-1873), Pamela (afterward m. Sir Guy Campbell); Lucy Louisa (m. Capt. Lyon, RN); d. in poverty in Paris, aetat. 57; painted by Mallary [var. Mallry] in Hamburg, c.1800; painting presented to NGI by descendent of her dg. Lucy; in 1976. ODNB EB

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Commentary
Richard Robert Madden: United Irishmen: ‘Lord Edward’s wife, Pamela, had been courted during her stay in England by the playwright RB Sheridan. Sheridan’s wife had recently died, and when he proposed to Pamela he was accepted. It is said that Mrs Sheridan looked remarkably like Pamela. Lord Edward, who had formed a friendship with Mrs. Sheridan, seemd to have fallen in love with Pamela instantly when, after Mrs Sheridan’s death, hesay her French counterpart at a play in Paris. Madame de Genlis, who looked after Pamela, had no difficulty in extricating her from Sheridan’s offer, after which she accepted Lord Edward’s proposal of marriage.’ (In United Irishmen; quoted in Cheryl Herr, For the Land They Loved (Syracuse UP 1991), p.47 [Introduction].

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References
Encyclopaedia Britannica [under Edward Fitzgerald], give bio-details, travelled from city to city in Europe, and died impoverished and obscure in Paris, 1831; bibl., Gerald Campbell, Edward and Pamela Fitzgerald (1904); Memoirs of Madame de Genlis (1825); Georgette Ducrest, Chroniques populaires (1855), and Thomas Moore, Memoirs of R. B. Sheridan (1825).

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Notes
Portrait of Pamela in the Louvre; portrait of Pamela in muslin dress with a young child (dg., holding corn-flowers and wheat), made in Hamburg by a virtually unknown artist Mallary, now held in National Gallery of Ireland, having been presented by a descendent of her second child; another a portrait of Lady Pamela and her children in R. R. Madden, United Irishmen, V (1916), cited as being ‘from an engraving by Scriven, after the celebrated painting by George Romney’ [see Cheryl Herr, For the Land They Loved, 1991, plate 10, p.85 facing].

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